The city of Wuhan has banned the hunting and consumption of wild animals amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 virus first appeared in Wuhan late last year and many linked its initial transmission to wild animal consumption, namely bats. As part of the Chinese government’s initiative to address its wild animal markets, farmers will also be paid to cease breeding exotic animals for consumption as a way to curb the exotic “wet market.”

Virtually all hunting within Wuhan city limits is banned except in the cases of “scientific research, population regulation, monitoring of epidemic diseases, and other special circumstances.”. As a result of these recent measures, Wuhan has been converted into an official “wildlife sanctuary” by the Chinese government.